The Association for the Wellbeing of Elder Sportspersons (AWES) will organise their first ever AWES Cup football tournament, starting September 1 at the Duler Stadium, Mapusa.

Twelve teams, including four from outside the state, will compete for top honours in the tournament which is backed by the Goa Football Association (GFA) as the official curtain raiser for the season ahead.

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Top teams from Goa like Goa Pro League champions Salgaocar FC, Sporting Clube de Goa, Dempo Sports Club, FC Bardez, FC Goa (developmental squad), Vasco Sports Club, Calangute Association and Dempo Juniors have confirmed their participation, while outstation teams like Gokulam FC (Kerala), Viva Chennai (Tamil Nadu), ONGC (Maharashtra) and FC Pune City (developmental squad) will also travel to Goa and take on the best teams from here.

The final is scheduled to be held on September 17.

“AWES is a recently-formed organisation that took shape with the sole aim of providing our former greats with a life of dignity, particularly in their twilight years. They have done the state proud and it is our responsibility to ensure their well-being,” said AWES president Avertano Furtado.

AWES has several sporting greats as members with Brahmanand Shankhwalkar, Armando Colaco, Derrick Pereira, Savio Medeira, Lector Mascarenhas, Francis D’Souza, Yolanda de Sousa, Juliana Gurjao e Colaco, Mauricio Afonso, Samir Naik, Lenny D’Gama and Girish Lotlikar as some of the members. 

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“Since formation early this year, AWES organised a get-together of great footballers in May and we were encouraged by the overwhelming response. Our next aim is to raise funds for our organisation so that we have money and resources to look after them when they require,” said AWES vice-president Vinod Parkkot.

The GFA has been supportive of this initiative and has promised all possible help to make the tournament a success.

“We are more than happy to support initiatives like this. Former players who have done the state and country proud cannot be forgotten after they have retired. The GFA wishes AWES all success,” said GFA secretary Welvin Menezes.

The tournament’s associate sponsors include Dempo SC, Salgaocar FC, Sporting Clube de Goa, FC Goa and HDFC Bank Limited.

Below are the groupings:

Group A: Dempo SC, ONGC (Mumbai), Calangute Association

Group B: Salgaocar FC, Viva FC (Chennai), FC Goa (Development Squad), 

Group C: FC Bardez, FC Pune City (Development Squad), Dempo SC (Jrs)

Group D: Sporting Clube de Goa, Gokulam FC (Kerala), Vasco SC